Secret Le

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Anne Coesens, Michel Bompoil, Tony Todd

Director: Virginie Wagon

Marie (Anne Coesens) is an encyclopaedia saleswoman and a wife and mother. She is good at her job and enjoys what seems to be a fairly normal home life with François (Michel Bompoil) her husband and their young son. Her husband wants a second child but she is not sure.

It’s this uncertainty that actually reveals the crack in her slightly routine but apparently happy existence, not because she may only want one child but because of the underlying reasons for her doubts.

While actually calling on a prospective customer she meets Bill (Tony Todd) a confident, laid back, black American whose mysterious demeanour stimulates Marie’s curiosity and a few days later she finds herself making an excuse to revisit him. She initiates a torrid affair with Bill finding that she wants something more than she is getting at home.

After a session of particularly rough sex she finds her body so marked that she can no longer hide her affair. Now she must face her husband and decide what course her life will take.

LE SECRET is a well made film that attempts to explore Marie’s mind and reveal her true desires, previously masked by her home life with her husband and child. This could be seen as a woman prepared to take risks and make her own decisions. It could also be seen as a woman whose cold behaviour, is selfish and irresponsible towards her husband and child and who’s ‘hard as nails’ character has been lurking beneath the surface waiting for the opportunity to break out.

Bill her lover clearly sees right through her from the start and simply enjoys the opportunity.

The abundance of sex scenes on screen certainly serve to illustrate what is on Marie’s mind as she switches back and forth from her husband to her extra-marital sex partner but it’s really secondary to the ideas that come across as the real theme of the film – what’s deep in Marie’s mind and the course she wants her life to take.

Marie is clearly not a nice character however and the decisions she makes are destructive and hurtful to the family she is supposed to love. In this respect it’s hard to care about how she feels and one can only sympathise with her husband and child and wonder why he doesn’t just dump her and get himself a woman who would care about him and his son as much as herself.

An interesting though flawed film with more to it that its abundance of sex scenes that most broadminded people would simply take in their stride.

2 out of 6 stars